Nine weeks this week, I fell. I mark time these days by the fall. Each week, I am better, my arm is healing. Now, there are only a few traces of bruising left. The bone has begun to knit together. And my task is to regain range of motion. Lifting my arm is challenging, but now I can touch my face with my injured arm, which means I can mostly eat with my dominant hand again. I still have trouble cutting my food. The most recent milestone was moving back into my bed. I slept in a recliner for eight weeks. It’s surprising how a broken shoulder affects so many movements – laying down is one that was painful until recently. Last, I’m making friends at PT. This is week 5 of physical therapy, and I have many weeks to go.
A Personal Reflection
“If you ask, ‘Why is this happening? ‘ no light may come, but if you ask, ‘How am I to glorify God now? ‘ there will always be an answer.”JI Packer
I saw this quote on Instagram about the time I started thinking about posting an update on my progress. I wish I could say I didn’t ask, “Why me?” “Why this?” “Why such a long recovery?” But I have. There have not been many pity parties, but there have been a few. At the end of those moments, I found myself seeking God, repenting, and thanking Him for many blessings. I know that I am strong, healthy, and able to recover where others who fall are debilitated. The fall was humbling because I see myself as able, independent, and a take-charge person. In the first weeks of the injury, I was limited and dependent, having to rest from my favorite activities for a while.
Now, I have to re-learn how to be active. I have protected my right arm for so many weeks that it is awkward to reach out with it to try to use it in normal ways. I’m released to use it as much as I want – without causing myself pain. In the past week, we have decorated for Christmas, had guests for dinner, and kept the grandkids. I pushed myself to use my arm – cooking, wiping counters, doing dishes, and arranging the holiday knick-knacks. Raising my arm to the height of our counters to wipe up spills, to stir, to monitor the food on the stove – that’s a small milestone I am celebrating.
Learning to be active is not just about the use of my arm. I used to be confident in going for walks. Now I feel tentative, wary, even anxious – which I am learning is a normal response to orthopedic trauma. I haven’t been for my usual walk through the neighborhood in the past nine weeks. Fortunately, our weather is inviting and mild, so now is the time to face the anxious feelings, get back on the horse, so to speak, and get outside.
What I Am Looking Forward To
Increased Range of Motion
Increased stamina and strength
Does anyone love physical therapy and exercise? It’s not that I love it, but I do appreciate the progress that exercise brings. And the therapists I get to work with have been encouraging, kind, and personable. I feel like I have made new friends. I know with their guidance and my personal persistence in exercise, I will achieve an increased range of motion.
With an increased range of motion, I look forward to improved strength and stamina. I have a fun goal I am working towards and plenty of motivation to work hard. In the next few weeks, I want to overcome anxiety and build up stamina to walk daily. There’s a big trip in our future and a lot of walking, so now is the time to practice!
I love the seasons of Advent and Christmas. Advent is a reflective season that erupts in the great celebration of Christmas. During Advent, I love to pause, wonder, and ponder the Incarnation and what that means to us. I’ll record some of those thoughts here, so I hope you’ll check back; use the link at the top of the page for Advent to find those writings.
If you have read this far, you might wonder why so much personal sharing about my progress in healing from a broken shoulder. Reflection is an exercise in growth. In looking back, I am hopeful for future progress. In sharing, I hope my words will be useful to a reader, encouraging them in their own journey, no matter the challenges.
Father, You who knit me together the first time,
Thank you for doing so again and again.
I praise you because, as the Psalmist reminds me,
You are great, good, gracious, and glorious!
You are righteous in all Your ways and
Faithful in all You do! As You walk with me today,
Lift my spirits, draw me close, cause my mouth
To sing Your praises. Amen.